I will admit, I was a bit skeptical about the restaurant I’m talking about today. Friends have raved about it and each time I’ve passed any one of their locations, the parking lot is usually packed, but I never ventured in.
My husband has had dinner here before and out of the blue he said, “let’s go to The Melting Pot.” I immediately flashed back to the 70’s where fondue parties were as popular as those get-togethers where you would drop your car keys in the fishbowl and, well…. you know.
It was a Sunday night and we made an 8pm reservation at The Melting Pot in Boca Raton. We arrived on time and our table wasn’t quite ready, so we had a glass of wine at the bar. I was pleasantly surprised that a 5oz pour of the house Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio was only $6. Granted a bottle isn’t much more, but it was a good price on a decent Pinot Grigio.
After a few sips, we were taken to our booth complete with its own privacy curtains. Brian, our server, came over to introduce himself and walk us through the menu and the fondue experience since I was the newbie at the table.
As expected, everything you order you cook yourself in the fondue pot. The menu features either a la carte options or a full four-course fondue experience that includes the cheese fondue, salad, entrée and chocolate fondue dessert.
We went with the “Boca Big Night Out” four-course option ($84 per couple). The first course was the cheese course. There were ten difference cheese fondue options to choose from and Brian recommended we go with the Bourbon Bacon Cheddar (aged cheddar, lager beer, bacon, dry mustard, garlic, Worcestershire, and bourbon).
In a short time, Brian returned to the table with a big bowl of cheese and all the ingredients and sides to begin crafting our cheese fondue. For two people it was a lot of cheese! For dipping, it came with different assorted chunks of bread, mixed vegetables, apples, and grapes. The cheese was rich and flavorful with a nice smoky flavor thanks to the bacon.
A simple house salad was served next as we waited for the main event.
The Boca Big Night Out comes with a cold water lobster tail, teriyaki marinated sirloin, Memphis dry rubbed pork, herb crusted chicken, Pacific white shrimp, wild mushrooms, veggies, two ravioli, and potatoes. The meat and seafood are served raw, so we got a quick lesson on cooking times and how not to cross-contaminate ourselves with raw food –vs- cooked food.
There are several different cooking styles you can choose from, basically, this is what’s in the fondue pot that is going to cook the food. Options include Seasoned Court Bouillon (seasoned vegetable broth), Coq Au Vin (Burgandy wine infused with herbs and spices), Mojo (Caribbean bouillon), Bourguignonne (canola oil served with tempura sesame batter). We chose the Bourguignonne.
As the pot of oil started to bubble we began to coat our selections in the batter and started cooking. The chicken took about two minutes while the others were cooked much quicker. We battered some and cooked some just in the oil.
The chicken cooked either way ended up being tough. The shrimp and lobster with the tempura batter were both delicious. Our favorite was the teriyaki marinated sirloin which out of everything had the most flavor and was incredibly tender.
Along with the proteins, there were veggies and potatoes to cook as well and we were given plenty of sauces to dip our items in, including a hot Srachia sauce that went well with the shrimp and lobster.
For two people, this was a lot of food! Add in the cheese course and we were stuffed already, but we managed to finish everything except some of the vegetables and potatoes. But we weren’t done yet.
As Brian cleared our table, he had us look over the chocolate fondue dessert menu. There were nine different options that were available as the evening’s finishing touch. From a Bananas Foster fondue to Chocolate S’mores, all looked delicious.
We ended up going with the Pure Chocolate a fondue pot of milk chocolate served with bananas, Rice Krispy squares, strawberries, chunks of pound cake, marshmallows, pineapple, and brownies.
We couldn’t finish everything that was brought out for dessert, even though Brian said, “if you want more of anything, let me know and I’ll bring it out.” We couldn’t find room for anything more, trust me.
At the end of the night, I turned to my husband and said, “we shouldn’t have waited this long to come here.” Everything was perfect. The service and timing of the different courses were flawless. The food was plentiful and the drink prices were more than reasonable. Now I know why the parking lot is always full.
Now I know why the parking lot is always full.
If you’re looking for a nice spot for a date night, this is it. Not sure if it’s an appropriate place for kids, even though they would love the fun that comes along with fondue, it could be a little dangerous and would require supervision to make sure those little hands don’t get burned. I’m told the restaurant has burn cream just in case!
We’re definitely putting this one on the list for a return visit!
The cost for two with alcohol – $135.